GPSA Knowledge Platform

GPSA Expert Forum
Making Accountability Processes work: Engagement between Civil Society and State Accountability Institutions

March 11 – April 3, 2015

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About the Expert Forum

There is an increasing interest around engagement between state accountability institutions –such as Supreme Audit Institutions and Ombudsman Offices- and civil society. Recent academic research on “co-production of public control” in Brazil – which encompasses both state oversight bodies work as well as social accountability work by social movements, civil society organizations (CSOs) and the media -, as well as on “societalization of horizontal accountability institutions” highlight the need to explore this further. Research on “strategic social accountability” also stresses the importance of supporting pro-accountability networks that may work across state and society to improve service delivery and government responsiveness and achieve development goals.

The importance of SAIs’ engagement with other stakeholders has been recognized in INTOSAI resolutions (ISSAI Nº 20, 21, and 12), and several SAIs have started to promote initiatives to engage with citizens, such as citizen participatory audits in the Philippines and citizen oversight initiatives (veedurias ciudadanas) in Colombia. This collaboration has also been observed between CSOs and Ombudsman Offices, for example, in a joint project by CARE and ForoSalud on social monitoring of health services for defending maternal health rights in Puno (Peru).

The World Bank Demand for Good Governance (DFGG) companion note to the GAC II Update raised this issue in 2011. More recently, the GPSA has featured collaboration between grantees and state accountability institutions as part of its Theory of Change. Consequently the GPSA Results Framework Outcome #2 focusses on “collaboration between social accountability initiatives and state accountability institutions… to gather evidence and to coordinate efforts for greater accountability” based on the assumption that state accountability institutions could also be users of data and evidence gathered by CSOs to hold governments to account”. Furthermore, this Results Framework notes that “weak formal oversight institutions- legislators and supreme audit institutions- deprive civil society actors of an important route to influencing state actions and ensuring accountability.”

In order to explore this topic in more detail, the GPSA, the WB Public Participation in Budget and Audit (PPBA) Program, ACIJ and U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre will co-sponsor a webinar on March 10 at 10:00AM EST, followed by a 3-week E-forum to exchange experiences about GPSA grantees, Global Partners and other practitioners’ efforts and steps in engaging with state accountability institutions. We hope that this discussion will continue at the U4-CMI-University of Bergen workshop The ‘in-betweens’: Institutions of accountability to be held in Bergen (Norway) on April 21-23, 2015.

Over three weeks, this E-forum will explore patterns of engagement between accountability institutions and CSOs. It will address key questions concerning different forms of collaboration between these stakeholders: How can accountability institutions and civil society work together to promote good governance? What are the entry points for such engagement? How feasible is this engagement, and under which conditions? What are the main challenges for this collaboration, and how can these be overcome? How can this collaboration be encouraged? How can we assess the impact of these collaborative initiatives?

Please join us for this e-forum, starting March 11. We would like to hear your opinions and experiences about this topic and how we could move this agenda forward.

We look forward to your participation!

About the Expert

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Carolina Cornejo
Project Coordinator, Civil Association for Equality and Justice (ACIJ)

Carolina Cornejo is Project Coordinator on Oversight Institutions at the Civil Association for Equality and Justice (ACIJ), a non-profit organization aimed at defending disadvantaged groups and strengthening democracy in Argentina.
Since 2010, Carolina has been managing the implementation of the TPA Initiative, a Latin American network that seeks to strengthen public control systems through articulation between horizontal accountability institutions and citizens. She has been conducting research, writing reports and publishing articles on policies and mechanisms implemented by regional Supreme Audit Institutions to promote transparency and civic participation. To continually encourage and deepen debate, she has presented in regional meetings and international forums, and assisted in the development of capacity building programs for SAIs.
Carolina holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Buenos Aires and is a M.A. candidate in Development Management and Policy (Georgetown University).

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February 13, 2015

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Making Accountability Processes work: Engagement between Civil Society and State Accountability Institutions"

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